Giving Massage is Self-Care, Too

“We are meeting the client, who is meeting the practitioner’s hands from the inside.”
— Marion Rosen, creator of the Rosen Method

by Carl Johns, LMT, Director, ASIS Massage Education-Flagstaff

This simple, deep statement by Marion Rosen speaks eloquently of the reciprocal nature of touch.

Many an article has been written about the benefits of receiving massage in terms of health, wellness and self-care. Receiving massage is certainly one of the most pleasant and effective things you can do to balance and enhance the function of all the vital systems of your body and to calm your mind.

But much less has been written about benefits of giving massage and how that may relate just as much to our self-care as receiving massage.

When we touch, we are being touched. We are dropping into a complex and profound dance of relationship between two people, each person sensing the other, one in an active role and one in a receptive role.

Ideally, this exchange is safe, nonsexual, comfortable and nurturing to both giver and receiver. The giver’s spirit is well nourished by helping, by facilitating more ease and comfort for the receiver. If we do not force, but move around the body with comfort and ease, we can start to tune into the rhythms and textures of the receiver, and we can feel them change in response to our touch.

We can lose ourselves in the moving meditation of massage and start to receive the benefits that presence and touch bring to both partners in the dance.

When we come into this relationship of giving touch through massage, we often want to learn more and to deepen our work by learning about different forms of massage. This learning can take us to every culture in every corner of the world and is a beautiful journey of discovery.

As a professional massage therapist over the last 25 years, I can tell you that I have never had a day that I didn’t feel better in body and mind for having put in a day’s work with my clients. So I invite you to come into this world of giving touch to others in any way that sparks your interest, and let the benefits start to grow in you as you begin to nurture others in this form of mutual self-care.